God’s stated plan to have King Solomon’s descendants reign on the throne of David forever appeared to have come to a premature end. In response to Solomon turning away from God to worship the foreign gods of his many wives, and the further unfaithfulness of his son, King Rehoboam, the Lord divided the kingdom. After Solomon, there would be two nations instead of one – a Northern Kingdom of Israel and a Southern Kingdom of Judah. Judah retained the Temple and the palace in Jerusalem and held the Messianic line of Judah, the lineage of King David and of the future Messiah, Jesus Christ. Of the twelve original tribes that originated from Jacob’s sons, ten would now be split off to the Northern Kingdom. Soon they, too, would turn away from the pure worship of God to devote themselves to idols, including even a golden calf from their days of Egyptian slavery.
But God is never surprised by people’s folly. The Lord lives outside of the boundaries of created time and space that restrict humankind, and He very well knows the end from the beginning. The Lord’s calling and design to have the twelve tribes of Israel lead to to the offer of the Kingdom of Heaven for entire the world, and to have their Messiah rule over it, was never in doubt. It will come to pass.
Seventy years after the ascension of Jesus, his last living apostle, John, had a vision of the end times that will happen before the return of the Jesus. This series of visions is recorded in the New Testament, Book of Revelation, the final book in the Bible.
12 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. Revelation 12:1-2 (NKJV)
The twelve stars represent Israel. The child, Jesus, was born to fulfill everything that God had in mind for Israel, to be a Shining Light to the nations to turn the hearts of the people to the one true God.
Long after the downward slide of Israel’s kings had begun, the prophet Isaiah foretold of a divine child, God Himself, who would be born to rule and reign upon David’s throne.
6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom… Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)
The failures of mankind will never stop the loving plans of God. He continues to reach out to each one of us to save us and to bless us every day. Many of us have been lifted out of pits of despair and suffering to be placed upon the high plain of love and restoration as God rebuilds the foundations of our lives. His mercy and truth surround us and lift us up to bring us a joy and a hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity.
But even the Messiah was not immune from the attacks of the enemy. For a season, He, His followers, and all of the descendants of the Twelve Stars were subjected to persecution and terror resulting from their spiritual enemy’s rebellion.
John continued his Revelation vision with a second sign from heaven and adds some insight into the battles that are to this day raging behind the scenes, here and in the heavenly realms.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:3-5, 7-9 (NKJV)
The devil and his demons, once angels of God, were thrown down from heaven after an unsuccessful rebellion against the Lord. They are a continual source of evil on earth and a tormentor of all, including both Christian believers and the Jewish people, the descendants of the Twelve Stars. Those of the kingdom of darkness know that God’s kingdom will one day return in a New Jerusalem, with Messiah Jesus reigning forever on David’s throne. Those in active opposition to God, His kingdom, and His people will not have an endless amount of time to inflict evil, but those who do worship God and serve Him and His Messiah will rule and reign with Him forever, without end.
The book of Revelation tells us that the enemies of God to this day are deceiving the whole world.
What might some of these deceptions be? How have they negatively impacted history? Can you think of a lie that the evil one wants you to believe? Ask God to reveal to you His truth and all of the freedom and healing that comes with it.
Father God, we ask You to reveal to us the full truth about You, Your coming kingdom, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the healing and freedom we may enjoy as a result. Strengthen our faith and help us to grow more and more in love with You and Your word. We ask this is in Jesus’ name, Amen.